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DAFZA launches initiative to encourage FDI

Dubai Airport Freezone Authority signs MoUs with govt entities on innovation and services

DAFZA launches initiative to encourage FDI
Government integration is an important part of making Dubai's free zones capable of competing at a global level, says Al Zarooni.

Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) has launched a new initiative and signed a number of inter-government MoUs to encourage government co-operation and innovation to encourage foreign investment in Dubai.

DAFZA's ‘Development of Governmental Services' Innovation Ecosystem' initiative aims to create innovative solutions and enhance customer experiences, as part of moves to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) into Dubai's free zones.

The initiative will include an event, titled ‘The Big Conversation' which will bring together senior officials from the federal and local authorities to assess the current experience for FDI in Dubai, and to understand what steps can be taken to improve the experience.

MoUs were signed between DAFZA and Dubai Police, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dubai Economic Department, Dubai Customs, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, and Dubai Civil Aviation. The move is also in strategic collaboration with Dubai Smart Office.


HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of DAFZA pointed out that the significance of the ‘Big Conversation' lies in its role in laying strong foundations for making innovation the main driver behind Dubai and the UAE's global economic leadership.

"The new Memorandums of Understanding will establish a clear framework for promoting government integration which is a main pillar for putting the UAE at the forefront of innovation in sustainable investments. We are confident that this multilateral cooperation will play a pivotal role in supporting national economic diversification policies in line with the UAE's post-oil strategy which paves the way to a safer future based on sustainability," he said.

The ‘Development Innovation Systems for Government Services' initiative is divided into five stages. The first three cover the work and meetings of participants in exploring prospects for cooperation and studying current investor experiences as well as acquiring direct feedback on the challenges faced by foreign investors in DAFZA. The initial stages conclude with the ‘The Big Conversation' which will facilitate discussions among all parties involved on challenges and necessary improvements and lead to a general agreement on major themes for enhancing the experiences of Dubai's foreign investors.

The fourth and fifth stages will consider the outputs of the ‘The Big Conversation' and apply and improve them on the ground. Such agreements provide a solid foundation for promoting excellence by leading innovation in the public sector at the local and federal levels and supporting Dubai Plan 2021's goal of establishing a leading and distinctive government. They will also help drive the objectives of ‘Smart Dubai' as well as focus on harnessing innovation to achieve growth in free zone industry locally and globally which are vital to economic growth.

Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, Director General of DAFZA said: "The new Memorandums of Understanding are in line with the objectives of our ‘The Big Conversation' which acts as a rallying point for strengthening government integration and collaboration in innovation to build a sustainable and diversified economic model by 2021. Guided by the wise vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, DAFZA is committed to adopting excellence as an integral approach, innovation as a culture, and happiness as a priority goal for driving comprehensive economic development and placing Dubai at the forefront of the New Economy."

Dr. Al Zarooni added: "In acknowledgment of the importance of government integration in achieving the ultimate aspiration of competing with the world's most innovative nations, we have launched ‘The Big Conversation' as a foundation for pursuing more fruitful cooperation among free zones, the governmental sector, and service industries. It aims to develop innovation ecosystems for governmental services targeting foreign investors operating within free zones and improve overall experiences and happiness, while also attracting more FDIs and increasing the country's GNP and GDP. We are confident that the outcome of this cooperation with government authorities is only the beginning of new experiences for foreign investors not only in DAFZA, but also across all the other free zones in Dubai."

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